This paper explores the approach of arts and cultural organisations towards branding in Italy and Australia. Data were collected through extended interviews with general managers and marketing managers of 18 arts and cultural organisations, including museums, galleries, theatres and festivals of both countries. Through the analysis of the data collected, five initial elements emerged when seeking to classify the branding paradigms of the organisations, viz., the orientation of the brand management, the type of brand management, the level of customers’ involvement in the brand “idea”, the degree of consistency in branding and attitudes toward risk in branding. For this article, we focus on two particular elements, the orientation of the brand management and the degree of consistency in branding, as these elements have an important influence on how an arts organisation will strategically manage its brand.
On the basis of the assumption that branding is driven by different factors in different countries, the paper identifies two main paradigms/models of branding characterised by specific drivers: marketing tools and strategies in Australian arts and cultural organisations; history and tradition of the cultural product/offer in the Italian ones. What emerges in this study is that the importance of brands in the arts and culture context should not be underrated by arts and cultural managers. Both models (the Italian and the Australian) represent valid examples for managers to look at in relation to the brand management process.
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